Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who Has the Most to Lose?

That's the method writers commonly use in order to determine whose POV (point of view) the scene should be in.

So I'm at a crossroads in my writing. The main character in the book is about to die a horrible death--being slowly burned to death. Yuck.

So which scenario is more powerful (i.e. which character has the most to lose and should therefore be the POV)?

A. The scene should be written in the POV of the man who is dying. The reader can understand the agony and the loss he is feeling.

B. The scene should be written in the POV of the man's wife. She watches, helplessly, as he dies while the surrounding crowd cheers.

What's your vote?

9 comments:

Michele Holmes said...

The wife. She's going to be around in the next book, so let readers experience her suffering first hand.
More angst that way, and you know how we all love angst.

Maria Zannini said...

Ooh, absolutely the pov from the man's wife. While reading about a person's death can be gripping, I don't think it compares with the empathy we'd gain at seeing this from his wife's perspective.

It's who we leave behind who suffers most.

Josi said...

In his perspective I think you'd have a hard time writing it without getting it too 'all over' the reader. The intensity would be too much. Because of that I'd use the wifes. She has more to lose because she loses a husband and father and future--he's only losing himself--if that makes any sense at all. what a scene to write. Good luck.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks, ladies. I started writing it in the wife's pov today, then I stopped and started second guessing myself.

Annette Lyon said...

I agree with what's already been said--not that you need another vote. :)

Since I sort of know your characters, I can also say that aside from all the great arguments so far that his POV would be a bit lacking because he would have some level of peace about what's happening. He'd still be in pain, sure, but he'd have more of a heavenly perspective about the whole thing, if that makes sense.

Her POV, definitely. Make us cry with her!

Anonymous said...

I think at times, the most powerful parts of books and movies are the parts they don't describe. Just another idea.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks, Annette!

Ajoy said...

I think you should portray a little of his at first. Then more of hers.

I can see that you have a great way of including the women of these times and depicting their lives we never hear of. I personally have gathered much strength in your writing of the womens' POV.

I agree with Michele Holmes in that SHE will be around in the next book.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

My vote, too, is the wife, unless there's some compelling reason, like a specific theme you're going for, that makes the man's vp imperative. But even then, the woman's vp seems more intriguing. Now look what you've done! You've got me second guessing, too, and I haven't even read your story!